Berkeley: random news and notes

I have to say I can’t keep track of all the restaurants with animal names these days- Funky Elephant, Bird and Buffalo, Chicken Meets Rice, Rooster something. They all seem the same…

Maker’s Common already closing according to Nosh. I haven’t been there, but perhaps its a little too upscale for the neighborhood? When I lived a block away more than 10 years ago, the shops on University Avenue were all pretty modest I recall.

It isn’t that upscale. I was there two weeks ago and the food was great, but the restaurant was empty for a Thursday evening. They had a smoked butternut squash mash that I am still dreaming about. We also had a duck cassoulet and fried chicken. I had such a good meal that I’ve been recommending that place to my friends, and everyone has come back to me with positive feedback. I’m sad to see them go, and I’ll make sure to go one more time before they close.

I had Pinkbox recently in Las Vegas. Except for aesthetics and gimmicks like cereal toppings, they were pretty standard doughnuts.

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It’s an interesting read - I think a good amount of self-assessment.

Doesn’t really belong here but there is nowhere to put this, but maybe of interest to @geo12the- Caribbean place in Vallejo opening.

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A post was split to a new topic: [Vallejo, CA] Ruthies Caribbean Kitchen

Also don’t know where to put and it has been open for a while, Peruvian empanadas in Emeryville:

La Marcha, a Spanish tapas bar in Berkeley, is hosting Paella Feast, a community-style dinner on April 6 where guests can taste five kinds of paella for $30. (Photo courtesy of La Marcha)

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Some kind of restaurant is going into the old Toots Sweets site on Gilman. It’s been empty a while and before that the bakery had been pretty bad for a few years. (I used to like their bear claw, but that was a long time ago.) I’m curious to see what sort of a place this will be. There’s plenty of off-street parking.

Favorite brunch place Meal Ticket has closed, and will be replaced by KC BBQ. I’m going to miss the salmon and eggs, and those thick burgers, at Meal Ticket. KC BBQ closed after a fire last year.

Comal Next Door.
2024 Shattuck

Creating a Better Way to Eat: Hippies, Hawkers and Starfruits
Sunday, April 29 | 3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Current AffairsFoodHistory
Jonathan Kauffman, Laura McLively, James Syhabout, moderated by John Birdsall

Your dinner tonight is about so much more than just what’s on the plate—though this panel is about to make that more interesting too. Jonathan Kauffman’s “Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat” shows how we moved (thank goodness) from 1950s TV dinners to eating seasonally, locally, and organically. Chef James Syhabout, proprietor and chef of Hawker Fare, Commis (the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Oakland), and other restaurants, helps home chefs learn from his life story and his classic training in “Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Isan Thai & Lao Roots,” written with moderater John Birdsall. Laura McLively has turned her popular food blog into “The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook,” working magic with some of the market’s most intriguing and exotic ingredients, such as Pepino Melon Poke and Starfruit Almond Torte. (Just what do you do with a particular mushroom, a foreign root, a spiky fruit? You’ll find out.) Don’t miss this mouth-watering session.

To guarantee access to indoor programs, we recommend that you purchase a Priority Admission Ticket for only $10. Otherwise, you can purchase a General Admission Wristband for $15 for the whole weekend, with first-come, first-served admission after Priority Ticket holders are let in.


The pun is fitting, as Yu’s lunchtime to-go spot is known for its beef noodle soup. Using a recipe passed down to Yu from her grandfather, the dish is a mixture of Shandong and Taiwanese styles, with tender chunks of braised beef and thick wheat noodles in a rich, spicy and flavorful broth topped with chili oil. Aside from the beef noodle soup, other offerings include potstickers, tea eggs and chow mein. Many of Yu’s customers are international students from China or Taiwan, looking for their hometown street snacks in Berkeley.


Prior to opening the shop in 2014, Yan Yu, who had first moved to Oakland from Shandong, China, in 2006, had been looking to start a small and independent business that wouldn’t infringe on her time and ability to care for her kids.

Face to Face
2109 Milvia St. (near Addison)
Phone (510) 798-8868

Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday; closed on Sunday.
Cash only,

The beef noodle soup at Face to Face in Berkeley. Photo: Justine Wang

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Main Street Pizza, at the top of Solano, has closed and will be replaced by a branch of Venus Cafe. The same parent company owned Main Street.

On San Pablo near Monterey in Albany, the Lanesplitter site will become a French patisserie.

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Ernie - I think you mean San Pablo near Monroe, in Albany?

Patisserie Rotha opens June 30th
1051 San Pablo Ave., Albany

Yes, that’s the place. Marin is a short distance to the north.